Here is the usual prologue.
My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August. Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.
Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere. So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.
And all the acts will be Australian acts.
What do ya get when you cross AC/DC, first three albums Def Leppard, The Rolling Stones, The Angels, Rose Tattoo, John Cougar Mellencamp, The Cult and Georgia Satellites.
Well you get “Kings Of the Sun”, an Australian hard rock band formed by brothers Jeffrey Hoad and Clifford Hoad in Sydney in 1986.
The band got a deal with RCA Records.
In 1988 the band released their self-titled debut album “Kings of the Sun”, which was produced by Eddie Kramer and mixed by Dave Thoener.
The album kicks off with “Serpentine” which has that slide guitar blues riff that Cinderella used to kick off “The More Things Change” on their “Heartbreak Station” album a few years later. “Get On Up” sounds like a John Cougar Mellencamp cut. “Black Leather” has a bridge part which is catchy.
“Tom Boy” is a cross between AC/DC and Def Leppard.
“Hot To Trot” has an open string pull off riff that reminds me of Van Halen’s and Angus Young’s love child.
“Jealous” has a foot stomping riff.
“Bottom Of My Heart” feels like a Hanoi Rocks cut as it has that cross between 70’s pop and hard rock that Hanoi Rocks brought to the table. “Cry 4 Love” is a blues stomp ballad. “Medicine Man” has a more aggressive “When The Levee Breaks” riff and a memorable vocal melody.
The album closes with “Bad Love” (which has this funky blues riff in the verses that makes me pick up the guitar) and “Wildcat”
They opened for Guns N’ Roses in 1988 and got themselves kicked off the tour.
How bad can you be to get kicked off a Gunners tour?
Singer Jeffrey Hoad dropped his pants in front of the audience and bad-mouthed Guns N’ Roses in the process.
But context is an important thing, so according to the good ole Hoad brothers, what they meant was “for the Australian press at the time, to stop making a fuss over the newest act in GNR and remember that bands like Rose Tattoo who actually influenced them, still exist”. Well that didn’t fly either and by then the Australian audiences had been taken under the GNR spell and started to turn away from the band.
I don’t let artists views affect my listening experience. For me to drop an artist, they would have to do something criminal and against my moral code.
Kings Of The Sun did rule for a few years, because they’re very good at delivering their brand of hard rock.
Open a beer and crank it.
And if you want to go down the rabbit hole with these guys, then check out the excellent follow up in “Full Frontal Attack”, released in 1990, and the powerhouse drumming from Clifford Hoad.
It’s on YouTube, not on Spotify, with stand-out tracks like “Lock Me Up”, “Drop The Gun”, “There Is Danger”, “Vampire” and “Full Frontal Attack”.